Using Cool Fonts in Google Classroom and Desmos

So I recently realized you can use cool fonts from in Desmos and the awesome Amy Zimmer @zimmerdiamonds asked if I’d do a demo. So I made a video and figured I’d also make a blog post about it!

I am pretty sure I found this from Tony Vincent @tonyvincent after hearing about him from the Shake Up Learning Podcast. He has a post about Google Classroom tips that include changing fonts. Somehow I got from there to

I made a video, which was also my first screencast demo and first upload to YouTube!  Here it is:

I don’t really bother too much with fonts, except that I like to have different fonts that make the learner’s attention really see certain words. Here are some examples:

In my Google Classroom post for our most recent Remote Learning assignment for the week.Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 7.26.38 PM

In my latest Desmos activity for Remote Learning (edited from Julie’s activity).

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***Disclaimer: I have been alerted to some fonts not showing up on certain devices, so please be careful and check out your work on different devices first before you need learners to see them!!!

Definitely the least important part of a Desmos Activity, but it’s fun!

Les capture vidéos de l’écran sont un peu embarrassants parce que ma voix semble étrange.

#QuaranTiles #MTBoS2020

Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here You should join!

I made a thing!


I was really intrigued by all of the tweets I was seeing during this time of quarantine about the wood blocks being turned into math play things. Look it up at #QuaranTiles. My husband has been doing a lot of woodworking and when I showed him the project he was also interested (mainly because he had an excuse to now get a table saw that went on sale). Luckily, Nat Banting made a great how-to guide:

So we took a bunch of his leftover scrap wood and started cutting 1.5 inch squares. I think I would have gone smaller if I could go back in time because they really do take up a lot of room when you put them together. But it’s all good.

And then I learned how to use the power sander and sanded the faces followed by taping them off.

And then it got to the painting. I had yellow, green, red, and blue already laying around my house so that’s what I used. One of our life goals is to one day have a house with a legit work area. But for the time being we use cardboard boxes and other scrap wood.

And they came out great! They’re fun to play with and I can’t wait until my learners get a chance to play with them, too.

Un moment de joie pendant cette crise.

Mathematician Alphabet (Not Just Dead White Dudes)

First, if you haven’t heard of the Mathematician Project aka Not Just Dead White Dudes from Annie, read this here:

I think this project is super important and I’ve tried to incorporate it in a number of ways. I haven’t gotten the chance to actually have my learners do the project, but I’ve done it where I present mathematicians for a warm up, where I had a bulletin board of it, and where I used them as table/group labels after seeing them from Pam on her blog here:

But then I moved to a new room with desks instead of tables and got the idea from the teacher who had been in the room before to have colored tape on the feet of chairs to label the groups. So I put the 8 table labels (A-H) up on my wall to display since I wasn’t using them anymore. But I kept thinking that I wanted to complete the rest of the alphabet someday. Today was the day.

I made cards to print and put up that have a different mathematician that are Not Just Dead White Dudes. I know I’m not citing my sources correctly, but the information was all pretty much gathered from The Not Just Dead White Dudes Bank, Wikipedia, or the MacTutor History of Mathematics site.

It’s very possible I have a typo even though I tried to quadruple check everything. Let me know if you see anything weird or if there’s more you think I should do. It was pure luck that I ended up with an even number of men and women.

*Edit 1/2/20 – Thank you Amie @nomad_penguin for finding a typo on C. The file has been re-uploaded. Please let me know if you all find any more!

Feel free to use/edit them for yourself!

Google Presentation:

PDF: Mathematician Alphabet (Not Just Dead White Dudes)

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 12.19.57 AM

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 11.25.15 AM

C’est important que nos étudiants voient les mathematiciens comme eux.

Quick Common Core Post

While I really want to post about my classroom, I just have to put this little bit out there real quick. I recently had a conversation with a parent of one of the kids in my boyfriend’s band. She knew that I just got a job out here and asked how I was liking the Common Core. I said that I haven’t really been too affected by the change since I went to college learning with it and have been accustomed to it since the start of my teaching. She said that she had a friend that has been a math teacher in Illinois for many years and is absolutely hating the switch to the Common Core. She said that this math teacher disagrees with the philosophy.

I’ve heard criticisms of the Common Core, but usually it is because elementary students are learning a new method that their parents think is less efficient. I have never really heard anyone complain about the Common Core for secondary students. As far as I knew, there wasn’t much of a change except maybe the sequencing of topics.

I’ve only worked with a select few veteran teachers, and I really haven’t heard anything about the philosophy of the Common Core being different from what they had been teaching with before. Is there something I don’t know? I just thought the Common Core wanted to make sure that students learned the same topics, for instance, in 9th grade in Georgia as they do in 9th grade in Kentucky. I also thought the Common Core wanted to solve the whole “mile wide inch deep” problem and make sure students really understand the concepts instead of just regurgitating facts and then moving on, never to come back to them again. Is that really a philosophy? I just spent a long time searching the #MTBoS for activities that would be good to use to review factoring for my College Algebra class, thinking that I’d find them from someone’s Algebra I class, but I ended up searching through Algebra II and PreCalc and Math 2 and other named classes. Granted, I’m sure some of them were also being used to review just like I am *supposed to* be doing (I have ended up teaching most of these review topics to most kids and reviewing it with very few – I feel like there was a lot of summer slump here because they all say that they knew it at one point or that they’ve forgotten it – it’s really messing with my pacing – I feel like in the future I would much rather just review these topics when they are necessary for the topic we are doing…). I feel like the Standards for Mathematical Practice are just amazing and really hold kids to a higher standard, even though I’ll admit that there are some times when I’m really confused about how to assess them.

I always thought that I knew a lot about the Common Core because I have never taught with anything else in my head for standards. But maybe I just have more questions about them…But really, what’s there to disagree with in its philosophy, at least at the secondary level? I feel like I need to educate myself, but when I try to I just find political arguments, which just turn me off.

C’est frustrant de ne pas comprendre quelque chose que j’ai cru que je savait.